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  • Steps to save cashew industry sought

    Mar 8th, 2016

    N.K. Premachandran, MP, has called upon the Union government to mitigate the anxiety in the cashew sector over the new duty imposed on import of raw cashew.

    In a statement here on Monday, Mr. Premachandran said that the Union government should take steps to protect the cashew industry of the country.

    He said that a big fall in the production of raw cashew in the country had led to a corresponding increase in the import of the commodity. This opened avenues for hawala and black money operators, he said. This operation was pushing up the raw nut prices in the country and it led to medium and small scale processors being unable to purchase raw cashew.

    Factories remain shut

    The situation had led to many cashew factories remaining closed, resulting in hundreds of women losing their livelihood. The raw cashew issue was creating problems both for processors and workers, Mr. Premachandran said. The government should ensure availability of raw cashew at affordable prices. Simultaneous steps should be taken to augment the production of raw cashew in the country.

    Meeting called off

    Meanwhile, a meeting called by Mr. Premachandran at the Government Guest House here on Sunday with representatives of the cashew processors and board members of the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPCI) had to be called off following a showdown between processors and the CEPCI members.

    The meeting was called to find ways to solve the import duty imbroglio so that the outcome could be presented before the Union Ministry of Commerce. The immediate cause of the showdown was an alleged police complaint lodged by a CEPCI director board member against the president of the cashew processors association.

    Cashew processors from across the country have announced a march to the CEPCI office here on Tuesday to register their protest against the import duty. Their contention was that it was at the behest of the CEPCI that the duty was imposed. Processors from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu apart from Kerala will be taking part in the march.